Loyalty or not

It’s 4:42 am and I’m still awake. I’m tied with some freelance works. I have three works lined up during the holiday break. I’m more than thankful because I’m able to generate a little income on the side. I hope my work will turn out fine and easy only to discover some missing files from my clients. Pet peeve! I got my working pace but my materials are not complete. My patience is likewise being tested because one client is demanding a shorter working time frame. Ugh, they will never understand that what I’m producing is service and not a mass produced good. I hope I will receive all files within the day… while I’m probably sleeping already. I want to finish all pending tasks before Xmas. I may sound workaholic but I likewise wanted to enjoy the holiday break. I wanted to be relaxed and peaceful from Christmas day until New Year.

So much about my work, the real reason why I made this post is to as always, vent out a recent experience within my immediate surroundings….. more often than not deals with work and family.

The institution where I work with is fortunate enough to hire interns in the form of students. Each office is most likely allocated with interns to help out in their daily operations. The interns usually take the clerical works so that the staff can concentrate on their major responsibilities. Interns are usually tasked to route communication, answer telephone calls, photocopy documents, encode data and all other clerical responsibilities.

Our office has been living with this intern for almost three years. Work performance wise, I have no complaints with this intern. However, when attitude and work ethics are already in the picture, a different story is revealed. Suffice to say, I believe our intern has crossed the borders of my patience and standards of work ethics.

It started with one incident, followed by another, and just like that, I woke up realising that if I am the law, the intern should already be replaced. I have related my sentiments and the supporting incidents to our superior, our department head more than twice. Nothing happened and I guess, it’s enough to say that me and my superior are not sharing the same point of view. I don’t share his work ethics and principles. This was enough sign for me to stop relating my sentiments. If I continue voicing out my observations, I will end up as the immature grown up. Although deep inside, what my superior don’t realise … he is depriving himself of my honesty. Now this makes me learn that sometimes, choosing to be mature and patient has its own tradeoff. In my case, my honesty is being suppressed and my superior allowed himself to be deprived of it.

Months passed, I got used to the behaviour of our intern. To say that the intern does not annoy me anymore … how I wish it works that way. What happened was, I was conditioned that the intern is capable of doing everything.  Everything that could test my patience and make me believe that sometimes, my presence is no longer needed in the office. Now half of me wishes that my superior can read this post.

All the incidents led me to discern some thoughts about loyalty.

The intern assigned to our office is probably one of the best persons who can exemplify loyalty…… in the most self-destructive way.

I’m not sure about your sentiments but as far as loyalty is concerned, I think  loyalty has its own parameters or boundaries as well. Loyalty means being faithful, true and rendering support to a particular person. We probably have different ways of showing faithfulness, truthfulness and support.

Some prefer to show loyalty in the most demonstrative way.

Some prefer to do it in the most silent way.

In my case, I have to say that I’m on the latter. Yes. I’d rather proclaim my loyalty in action than in words.

I don’t know about others, but people who tend to showoff excessive loyalty to one person gives me chills and at some point, I lose my respect to them. In the case of our intern, her loyalty to our superior goes to the extent of showing off. I even coined the thought that when our superior tells our intern to jump out of the window, our intern will do it without batting an eyelash.

Not that I’m saying that our superior will make our intern do the lowest of the low, what I’m trying to say is that sometimes loyalty sometimes translates to self-slavery. Because you chose to be excessively loyal to someone, you follow everything that he says. You believe in everything that he says. You do everything that he says. Sad, but some people don’t realise that too much loyalty also meant losing part of yourself.

At this point, I feel like I make loyalty sound as a negative trait. I won’t blame you if I sounded that way because I have gained much exposure on the negative side of loyalty. Or maybe, I have been mistakenly seeing loyalty as self-slavery.

Loyalty is a positive trait. However, I believe some people have to realise it has its own limits.

You become loyal to someone not because that someone endows you with material things. Because I gifted you with so many things, it would mean that you will become loyal to me.

You become loyal to someone not because the person is too kind. Kindness is a prerequisite of developing loyalty to someone. But this doesn’t necessarily equate to each other. Just because I was kind to you, you should be loyal to me. Obviously, no.

Just because you find me smart, you become loyal to me. Intelligence and loyalty are independent of each other.

We share the same opinion, you should be loyal to me. We just have common points of belief. It doesn’t necessarily yield loyalty.

Because I have power and resources, you will be loyal to me. Now this is a different story. When you become loyal to someone in a position, you are not a loyal… sorry to say, you seem to be a hungry parasite.

Given my answers to what is not loyalty, how do I define loyalty then? Now this makes me realise, it’s easier to identify what is not than what it should be.

I guess for me, loyalty works more than what can be observed. And I stood by the belief that the most loyal person in the world is someone who chose to work behind the scenes. The people who remained with you, on the worst times. I exclude the good times because as we know, it’s easier to find support and company when you are at the pinnacle of success. The people who were brave enough to tell you those things that you don’t want to hear. The people who were courageous and honest enough to relate what seems to be wrong. It’s always easier to acknowledge the good things. But to relate the negative things about you, this is loyalty. I chose to tell you even the worst things because I don’t want you to appear as a stupid asshole. I don’t want to make you live with sugar coated praises with a rotten reality underneath. Loyalty meant supporting you to become the better person. And with that comes the challenging task of gathering all the courageousness in the world to tell you what you probably would not like to hear.

Loyalty is not always having people to make you feel good, elated and  be the best of the best. Sometimes, loyalty meant having people who can tell you the truth, who can relate even the most painful truth. Loyalty is not having people who keeps on following your orders. Loyalty meant having people who support you in the most silent yet deepest account. You’ll never know because humans as we are, we are easily deceived by what we initially see.

I’m starting to sound the most cruel and wicked person in the world. Anyway, I just want to vent out. It’s 5:55 am, I’m starting to feel hungry, sleepy and dizzy. Time to get to bed… in the hope that my freelance documents will land on my inbox as soon as I wake up.

Off to bed, wish me a better day ahead 🙂

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